Lunch hour activities to give your afternoon a boost

Recruitment is a fast-paced and stressful working environment, so Isla Knight offers up five activities to help you unwind in your lunch hour.

The stresses and strains of day-to-day life in recruitment can leave you feeling exhausted and in need of a recharge. Taking care of yourself doesn’t require a total lifestyle overhaul. Small things can lift your mood and increase your energy and you can be back at your desk fresh as a daisy before most people have realised you have left.

Here are my top lunch hour de-stress activities.

A HiiT workout

High intensity interval training (HiiT) is a quick-fire session where you work hard for 20 seconds doing either squats, push-ups, burpees or kettlebells, then rest for 10 seconds, then go again. The aim is to get the heart rate up, which gets the body moving more oxygen and blood around the body and releasing endorphins, which will lift your mood. It’s perfect for people short on time and it can be done in the office with a trainer.

Just eight minutes of Tabata is the equivalent of a 30-minute workout. While there might be a little bit of sweat worked up on the skin, a small towel is all you need to freshen up and be raring to go back to work.

Fast yoga

This is a derivative of traditional Ashtanga, modified for the West. Quick and punchy, you can do in 10 minutes what would normally take half-an-hour as the rigidity of the classic yoga practice has been broken down, and it’s all about stretching and using your hands to reach out and achieve those cobra silhouettes with the concentration on breathing. One breath per pose builds up heat and energises the body. Moving through these rapid transitions with a trainer will push you to do more, faster than you would do on your own, burning more calories per minute, increasing muscle activation and leaving you feeling good.


This has been popular with athletes for years but has recently found its way into mainstream health and fitness. A major calorie-burner, the technique exposes the body to extremely cold temperatures for a very short burst of time. The idea is to shock the system into re-starting itself and it is known to have a variety of health benefits. As well as helping with weight loss, it can reduce migraines and help with chronic pain and mood disorders. 

Cranial drainage

This involves manipulation being carried out on the stress nodes from the neck to the top of the head, using a light touch to relieve the extra fluids that gather in that area. The technique involves gentle massage (without oils), focusing on pressure points. Taking only around eight minutes, this treatment reduces stress and helps build energy, helping the body to restore itself. 

Dry neck and shoulder massage

An eight-minute neck and shoulder massage through your clothes is enough to relieve stress and leave you feeling relaxed. It’s fast and convenient, there’s no need for messy oils that might get into your hair, which can be a problem when you need to go back to work. It will leave you feeling invigorated and able to take on the rest of the day.

Most of these treatments are pretty inexpensive and recruiters must invest in themselves or it will come back to bite you in the end.

• Isla Knight is the founder of JustUWellness. JustU is a booking service, accessed online or via the JustU App, that gives you the power to book a wide range of wellness treatments with the click of a button. JustU links users with professional salons and lifestyle providers.

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